I’ve never been a planner. My favourite quote is the following:
I would like to live
as the river flows.
Opening to the surprise
of it’s own unfolding.
– John O’Donohue (Conamara Blues)
It is only as this year comes to a close, and I find myself in the pause created by the few days of Christmas, that I realisz how truly I’ve lived this river-like philosophy this year.
On first January 2016, I did not anticipate that I would give up my car – simplifying my travel by utilising our newly launched public transit and thinking more carefully about where I needed to travel to, why and when. Turns out many of the trips I used to take were non-essential and justified only because I did have a nice care sitting in the garage.
Then, we ‘tested’ our house on the market. A test turned into a truth and we dived into clearing out ten years accumulation of ‘stuff’ and prepared to hand over our much-loved home to it’s new owners. People truly didn’t believe us when we said we had no plan on where to live next. “I want to stay in the don’t know space” I heard myself say to friends. When our house actually sold, many people congratulated us. I didn’t understand why giving up your home and not knowing where you’d live next was cause for celebration. Secretly I think many people envied the concept of freedom we were unintentionally tapping into.
The third letting go was the passing of our dog Zach. After many, many years of high maintenance care and perseverance, it was his time to move on. Life changed again and, whilst sad, we came to appreciate how much more time his passing freed up in our daily routine.
This sense of letting go, simplifying, downsizing and being reminded that life comes to it’s own end, has left me in a good place. Letting go has extended into a daily practice – mentally, and emotionally and to an opening to what is to come.
We stepped into being home-less, rather than homeless, and to a slower pace of life. We’re still working on the ‘downsizing experiment’ that moving home created. At the same time, I find a lot of space opened up around my work. I’m designing and creating, writing and inviting, and relishing a number of new client opportunities that have showed up in the ‘don’t know’ space I find myself in.
There’s a deeper ‘knowing’ in the ‘not knowing’.
For me, there will be no new year resolutions or committing to doing more of anything. No adding to or creating lists. Rather, I’m going into the holidays and beyond, with a focus on what more can be cleared or clarified or simplified for the future.
I wish you too the pleasure and joy of ‘don’t know’ space and being open to what is waiting to appear as you pass over the new year threshold.
It may just be more than you ever expected.
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